A VETRAN of American investment bank JP Morgan has entered the burgeoning field of cannabis with appointments to two UK-based cannabis ventures.
Edward Stanton McLean – one of the early architects of the European leveraged finance industry – has joined the senior executive team of Artemis Growth Partners, which oversees US $320m-plus in discretionary assets under management, and invests globally across the cannabis value chain, including branded products, distributors, value-added service providers, ancillary operators, and science-driven research and development platforms.
Its portfolio includes more than 30 leading cannabis companies, including globally recognised US operators such as Columbia Care, Green Thumb Industries, iheartjane.com, Kiva Confections, Leaf Trade, PAX Labs, and The Parent Company, as well as emerging international and European players such as Asia Horizon, Aureum A/S, Clever Leaves, Materia, PhytoPūr Bio, and Prohibition Partners.
McLean’s new post as advisory director will see him direct on all forms of capital markets activities, including capital raising for investment vehicles and for portfolio companies worldwide.
He will work alongside William Muecke, general partner and co-founder of Artemis Growth Partners and himself a former veteran senior banker at Goldman Sachs, as part of the private equity firm’s senior executive team in London.
Cannaray Looking To IPO
At the same time McLean – who in April left his role as managing director with JP Morgan following a 25 year association – has joined Cannaray as executive advisor ahead of a planned public listing by the ambitious medical cannabis and CBD company.
McLean, who has previously served as a non-executive board member of Cannaray, will focus on strategic growth, business development and capital market initiatives at the firm, which is among a number of cannabis companies looking to head for either the London Stock Exchange or the alternative Aquis market.
Cannaray chief executive, Scott Maguire, said: “We are pleased to welcome Stanton to the team at Cannaray. Stanton is a leader who brings a wealth of unique experiences, partnerships and relationships in the global capital markets that will benefit our continued strategic growth and vision; particularly as we look to list Cannaray on the public markets in the next 12 months.
“Cannaray strives to bring the best and brightest to the company along with outstanding characters to build a European-leading cannabis company and Stanton brings these characteristics and then some.”
McLean said the cannabis industry is at a “pioneer stage” with Cannaray setting its cap to become Europe’s leading firm in the field.
He said: “Joining the team at Cannaray represents a whole new set of opportunities and challenges as we embark on our journey to become Europe’s leading cannabis company.
“The European market is at pioneer stage; in 2020 European CBD sales totalled just £390m but are projected to grow to £6.9bn by 2028.
“Similarly, medical cannabis is expected to reach £17bn in 2028, up from £215m in 2020. If you compare these numbers to the US and Canadian markets, which saw £11.7bn in sales for CBD and £13bn for medical cannabis last year, Europe is clearly poised for significant growth.
“As consumers become more educated with regards to the health benefits of cannabis wellness products, it was clear to me that this was an ideal time to embark on a new challenge with enormous potential. I couldn’t be more excited.”